Tourists Continue to Take Serious Risks for Selfies on Dubrovnik Walls

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, praise the heights but stick to the ground, goes the old saying. It’s something that most people believe should be firmly plastered onto the pages or on the website of each and every tourism guide or website in Croatia. Even if that happened, it wouldn’t guarantee that awkward falls from rocks, walls and other locations wouldn’t occur, reports local Dubrovnik portal Dubrovacki. The first to go for a tumble are usually, of course, tourists who aren’t on familiar terms with Dubrovnik’s varying tricky altitudes, as evidenced by two falls of foreigners in less than one week.

The first to feel the unpleasant effects of gravity was a drunk 30-year-old German who fell down from the Revelin wall after a night out drinking, just before dawn. He is believed to have lost his balance, fallen down onto the ground below from a height of 3 metres and injured his head, fortunately without fatal consequences. A young foreigner, who was rescued by Lokrum firefighters a few days later near Golub’s cave (Pigeon’s cave), also got on the wrong side of gravity. This girl was on a kayak tour, climbed up a cliff and fell awkwardly down onto her back, slamming it painfully against the unforgiving rocks below. Lokrum’s firefighters transported her by dinghy to the port, where an ambulance picked her up and took her for treatment to the Dubrovnik General Hospital.

Unfortunately, the stunning green uninhabited oasis of Lokrum which lies a mere 600 metres from Dubrovnik’s coastline is a common location for falls and other injuries. The head of the Fire Protection Service, Vlaho Brautovic, pointed out that on the island of Lokrum, due to the large fluctuation of tourists visiting it, injuries happen every single day.

“Last year we opened later on due to the coronavirus pandemic, so there were fewer injuries, but back in 2018 and 2019, almost no day passed without people getting scratches, stings, falling over, some being foreigners, some being locals from the Dubrovnik area. From our side, we make sure that all critical places are properly fenced. However, it should be taken into account that the area of this island spans a huge ​​72 hectares, so falls are always going to happen regardless of our efforts,” said Brautovic for Dubrovacki.

Apart from the Lokrum Reserve, the imposing Dubrovnik walls are certainly a point of increased risk to safety, health, and life.

”Every summer, we’re horrified by seeing of young tourists taking selfies from the edge of the fortress plastered all over portals and social media. But such adventurers are, thankfully, more the exception than the rule,” said Maro Kapovic, secretary of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, which takes care of the Dubrovnik walls.

“All visitors are warned that when they go on a tour of the Dubrovnik walls, they do so at their own risk. In all critical places, our warnings of the dangers that threaten them if they lean over or try to climb are highlighted. We’re doing everything we can to prevent injuries and deaths. Night visits to the Dubrovnik walls aren’t possible precisely in order to avoid falls and injuries to young people who often walk around drunk in the late hours, like the German who fell from down from Revelin’s wall the other day.

Of course there will always be people who want to take pictures at a precarious height or walk along the edge of the walls, that’s the law of large numbers, in good years one million and 300 thousand tourists come and walk the Dubrovnik walls, which are longer than 2 kilometres in total, so someone just has to cause an incident. However, it’s still a rarity,” concluded Kapovic.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.


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